Links 12/12/2020

Snow Leopards Are the Latest Cats to Get the Coronavirus New York Times (David L) :-(

Severe Wildfires Are Devastating the California Condor Wired (resilc)

Tasmanian devils claw their way back from extinction Science (furzy)

China’s pigeon fanciers race for fame and fortune Reuters. Resilc: “My dad, as a kid in the 1930s, used to get railroad conductors to release his pigeons miles away from Joliet, Illinois, which was a national rail crossroads….”

For 30th Anniversary, Hubble Releases Images of 30 Celestial Gems NASA (David L)

Global carbon emissions down by record 7% in 2020 DW

World’s largest iceberg may strike island in South Atlantic this month NBC (furzy)

The greening of the Earth is approaching its limit PhysOrg (Robert M)

EROI of different fuels and the implications for society ScienceDirect (BC)



Metabolic reprogramming and epigenetic changes of vital organs in SARS-CoV-2 induced systemic toxicity JCI Insight

New on the COVID-19 Front Lines: Children May Be Driving the Pandemic After All Der Spiegel (resilc)

Peru suspends clinical trials of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine CNA

Coronavirus airborne: Infrared video shows how droplets spread the virus Washington Post (furzy)


US enters brutal stretch of pandemic, even with approaching vaccines The Hill

POLL-More women than men in U.S. nervous about fast rollout of COVID vaccine, and that’s a problem Reuters (Kevin W)

What an F.D.A. Committee Weighed in Voting for the Pfizer COVID Vaccine New Yorker

FDA advisor explains why she voted against recommending Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for emergency use CNBC. Note over a very narrow objection.

Covid-19 in the US: a society that puts the individual before public health lacks common sense South China Morning Post (resilc)

Portland’s entire Bramhall and Engine 11 Fire Stations call out sick out of an abundance of caution concerning COVID-19 News Center Maine


Dozens of GP practices in England opt out of Covid vaccine rollout Guardian (resilc)

From guurst. Can’t recall an official here making a statement like this:


S Korea’s Covid success story sunk by third wave Asia Times (Kevin W)


Unsold U.S. Hotel Rooms Near 1 Billion as Lodging Crisis Deepens Bloomberg (resilc)

Landlords Have Filed More Than 150,000 Eviction Notices Already. By January It Will Get Much Worse. Mother Jones

U.S. Billionaire Wealth Surges Past $1 Trillion Since Beginning of Pandemic — Total Grows to $4 Trillion Institute for Policy Studies


With Tories at His Back, Boris Johnson Can’t Cave in on Brexit Bloomberg

UK puts Royal Navy on standby to deter European fishing boats Financial Times

After 48 hours of ‘Brextensity’, Northern Ireland is still not ‘sorted’ LSE

EU states urged to push UK into new talks in event of no-deal Brexit Financial Times (Kevin W)

Albanian protesters burn Christmas trees over police killing BBC (resilc)


Aramco To Sell Stakes In Subsidiaries To Raise Cash OilPrice. Resilc: “Bye bye Saudi pie.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

U.S. Schools Are Buying Cellebrite Phone-Hacking Tech Gizmodo (BC)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Reuters: US and Morocco Negotiating Advanced Drone Sale Antiwar. Resilc: “Trump going out of business sale. ALL DRONES MUST GO. LOST OUT LEASE.”

Trump Transition

Trump Pursues Appointing Special Counsel to Probe Election, Hunter Biden Wall Street Journal

Justices throw out Texas lawsuit that sought to block election outcome SCOTUSblog

Senate passes defense bill, setting up Trump veto fight The Hill

Senate approves funding bill by voice vote to avert shutdown The Hill


Donald Trump’s Presidency Will End On The Day Of A Comet, A Meteor Shower And A Total Eclipse Of The Sun Forbes (DK)

Think the 2020 Election Was Uniquely Dysfunctional? Think Again American Conservative


Biden’s Cabinet Picks Are Getting Weird New York Magazine

Joe Biden Might Have Good Instincts, But His Foreign Policy Team Doesn’t American Conservative (resilc)

Biden’s Pentagon Pick: a Five-Sided Blunder CounterPunch (resilc)

The American Petroleum Institute Is Working to Kill Voting on Local Measures Truthout (Carla)

Our Famously Free Press

The YouTube Ban Is Un-American, Wrong, and Will Backfire Matt Taibbi

Florida Governor Defends Police Raid On COVID Data Whistleblower Yahoo

Argentina Is One Step Away From Legalizing Abortion Vice (resilc)

Disney Setting A Precedent For Not Paying Writers Ian Welsh (Randy K)

Everything We’ve Learned About Modern Economic Theory Is Wrong Bloomberg (David L). *Sigh*. This is very old news. We wrote about this in ECONNED ten years ago, following Keynes.

California Seeks to Join DOJ Antitrust Case Against Google Wall Street Journal

U.S. Congress bans anonymous shell companies Reuters (resilc). This is meaningful. You could previously set up Wyoming LLC and keep the identity of the owner secret.

D.C. Dysfunction & The Lost Art Of Civic Responsibility Heisenberg Report

U.S. military gives boost to flying cars and taxis Seeking Alpha. Resilc: “Just what we need, stuff crashing on top of us.”

Class Warfare

French daily marks anniv’s of Poland’s worker protests and martial law First News

Antidote du jour (Timotheus):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. The Rev Kev

    “Angry Florida governor defends police raid on COVID data whistleblower”

    This is really vile behaviour and I can well and truly believe that he once worked with detainees at Guantanamo Bay. With Trump departing, he may have less cover for some of the stuff that he does in Florida and I doubt that Biden will give him any. I did notice a bit of technique here. While he was riding his law-and-order high horse, he was deliberately running down the clock so that there was no time to answer any questions and I am sure that he did not want to talk about the footage Rebekah Jones released which was in direct contradiction with what he was saying.

      1. Milton

        Yes, she was most likely an administrator of the covid site and probably did not actually code the pages or even design the structure as there are numerous templates from Esri (to name one) available. But, she was responsible for the working order and content of the site and I do not doubt she had misgivings (to say the least) as to the order directed to her from outside her dept.
        Bottom line, nothing from the article justifies the police response. I don’t care if she was a supposed serial hacker, there is no reason to storm in with brandished guns fueled by amped, agro hyper-masculine ‘tudes in armored skin.
        That is the story, not some diversions written up in some local rag.

      2. FluffytheObeseCat

        The linked Tallahassee Reports article referred to three charges against Jones, none of which she’s been convicted on, as an “extensive criminal history”. This is an overstatement, to put it mildly. Reading the main page of the publication makes it clear that it is a well written establishment/insider broadsheet for real estate development and state political elites. The masthead page likewise, contains the bios of a clean, well spoken group of Tallahassee insiders.

        I understand why a publication like this exists, and why it’s devoted to fluffing the feathers of the Florida government elite. However, it far from a credible source on any issue or person who has happened to offend that elite.

        Washington D.C. isn’t the only gubermint ‘swamp’ in this country. We have 50 smaller ones scattered across the nation.

        1. Retaj

          That blog at my last check is a registered non-profit for “education” which specializes in 1) local puff pieces, and 2) hit pieces on political opponents of one of the local establishments.

          It has many features of local PR word press sites that have sprung up around the country, and it pubishes a low number of stories per day.

      3. The Rev Kev

        December 12, 2020 at 12:02 pm

        ‘A smear campaign, also referred to as a smear tactic or simply a smear, is an effort to damage or call into question someone’s reputation, by propounding negative propaganda. It can be applied to individuals or groups. Common targets are public officials, politicians, political candidates, activists and ex-spouses.’

        Just so you will recognize what one is next time around. And I am not sure if you saw the tape of that raid, it was only after she told them that she had kids upstairs that that cop told her to “calm down” and only then pulled his gun out. (14:30 mins)

    1. Alex morfesis

      Three Florida politicians, the current guvnyr from Dunedin, the zombie space alien senator former guvnyr, and the other senator from Havana, are already all prepped with presidential exploratory committees…it will be interesting to see all 3 get crazier and crazier simply to stay “top of mind” and in the newshole/facebookhole…it will only get more clowncarcrazy in flow read duh in the next few years leading up to 2023 and the next Republican nomination…strap in and enjoy the ride…

      1. Phacops

        So, you think that stories by Carl Hiassen and Tim Dorsey are fiction? [Snark] Where is Serge Storms when you need him?

    2. Sy Krass

      For all you Trump lovers on this site, because of course, Biden and the Democrats aren’t pure enough for you, this is the result of your loving him, Stazi like law enforcement.

      1. ambrit

        Bad logic Mr. Krass.
        To the extent that Trump and his clique have performed Stasi like actions, they did but build upon the already authoritarian framework bequeathed them by the Obama Administration.
        People can indeed not love Trump and still abhor Biden and his menagerie of parasitic alt-humans.
        Biden and the Democrat Party are much worse than “not pure enough” for us. They are positively vile and deserve all the bad things that are going to happen to them over the next four years. That the rest of us are going to suffer as a byproduct of that visitation of Nemesis upon the hubris addled ‘Gang of Politicos’ is one of the sad ironies of life.

          1. ambrit

            Poor Mercutio. Killed off in Act 3.
            “Call for me tomorrow and my voice shall be as a drone unto you.”
            I fear that America, circa 2021-22 shall end up like poor Romeo and Juliet did.
            Do you detect an increased influx of trolls to the comments section lately?

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        This is Making Shit Up, ad hominem, and an attack on the site all in one. This is what Lambert calls a reader assisted suicide note. Goodbye.

      3. Massinissa

        I’m getting REALLY tired of this ‘If you’re not with me you’re against me!” trope. How hard is it to understand that people can hate BOTH candidates?

      4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Listen here, Jack, the fact of the matter is that BIDEN ET AL are the Stazi.

        Like the real ones.

        They literally have unfettered access to the CIA, NSA, FBI and Big Tech.

  2. IdahoSpud

    So the Covid-19 travel ban with Canada might end the very day that Joe Biden takes the oath of office, eh?

    Absolutely sound public health policy there, no political overtones at all, nosiree!

    1. Winston Smith

      Come on.
      If you followed this story at all, the ban is re-evaluated on a monthly basis and because things are so bad in the US and only somewhat better in Canada, the two countries have agreed to keep the border “closed”. I think it will remain so for a while yet, at least until the spring. Again, the agreement is mutual. For Trudeau, it is a no-brainer: 85% of Canadians want the border to remain closed for the time being.

      1. IdahoSpud

        Why this tweet from Trudeau as the 3rd Covid wave threatens to overwhelm the US healthcare system then? Don’t be ridiculous, that guy is a political animal first and foremost.

        From appearances, Trudeau doesn’t care what Canadians favor – see his support of Trans Mountain pipeline vs first nations.

        1. Winston Smith

          Of course he is a political animal otherwise he would not be prime minister. No politician would consider going against 85% of people. Has he made a mess of some things (pipeline)? Evidently he has but this border closing issue is so clear to all involved, it beggars belief that we need to discuss it further. I don’t have a problem that you don’t think much of Trudeau. That’s fine. But any other prime minister would make the same decision in this case (except maybe if Jason Kenney was PM)

          1. edmondo

            No politician would consider going against 85% of people.

            Have you ever heard of Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi?

            1. Wukchumni

              I’m reminded of the public outrage a dozen years ago against the $787 Billion stimulus (it sure seemed like a lot of money at the time*, funny that) that was voiced to our politicians, who certainly got the message and voted it down, only to have their consciences telling them to do the right thing, so they voted for it, and that was the last time anybody in Humordor did anything on account of the public’s demands, and not their own.

              Is that too cynical too early in the day?

              * I was wowed by Enron’s $30 Billion pillage of California at the time, and have since lost all respect for billions.

              1. barefoot charley

                Wuk, that was strictly a Wall Street bailout, and even Congress hooted it down. They received a stern talking-to and approved it a week later. By then the Fed had already given them $8 trillion anyway, but it’s the thought that counts.

            2. Winston Smith

              I would humbly submit that my comments were limited to the Canadian political context. Seeing the names you mentioned nearly brought up my breakfast

              1. Wukchumni

                O Canada
                We got a few Lornes, Neil & Monty*
                True expatriate love, such a bounty
                With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
                The talent fleeing ye
                From far and wide
                Owe Canada, we appreciate thee

                *pronounced like ‘mountie’ in this instance

            3. jrkrideau

              I believe Winston Smith was referring to Canadian politicians, most of whom though not all, hi Pierre, hi Derek, have a much firmer grasp on reality or at least self-preservation than mR. Kenny.

              Oops I see he has confirmed this.

          2. IdahoSpud

            You are correct. I think he is a neoliberal snake with an incredible instinct for exploiting identity politics.

            What I think you misunderstand is that *I* am not the one suggesting opening the US/Canada border on Jan 21. It was Trudeau who tweeted that, so in fact he doesn’t care about what 85% of you think.

            I am merely commenting on the coincidence (Biden inauguration) of the date he Tweeted, and the likelihood that the pandemic situation will be even more out of hand by then.

            I am perfectly OK with restrictions on international travel. Unlike the prime minister, I’m not sanguine that travel restrictions ought to be lifted on Jan 21.

            1. Blake

              If it was Trudeau’s idea of partisan humor then kudos to him, especially given that he includes the obligatory element of jabbing at the opposing party’s feeling. Remember, we give 0 f**ks about customary manners these days.

            2. Winston Smith

              Perhaps we would disagree on some things but I share your political cynicism wholeheartedly, and yes I certainly include Trudeau in that bracket. It is no secret that he got along better with Melania than Trump

        2. JEHR

          Usually a leader of a country is a political person. The border closure is a mutual decision between two politicians, and the residents of each country agree.

      2. Jessica

        Yes, this has been month-to-month all along. Trudeau also said a few days ago that the US-Canada border will not open until Covid-19 is under control around the entire world. Though I am not sure if he will really stick to that once things settle down in the US and Canada.
        By the way, last time I looked, Canada is not allowing general travel from anywhere.
        I think the mutuality and the month-by-month decisions are Trudeau giving Trump some cover because if he pissed Trump off, who knows what Trump might do to hurt the Canadian economy. When the border was closed in late March, the virus was running wild in New York and Washington State had a (for then) quite high death toll. (Though that was almost all in a few nursing homes.) So it was Canada that had a reason to close the border. The US did not.
        Trudeau has the backing of the overwhelming majority of Canadians to keep the border closed. My guess is that this reflects not only worry about Covid-19 – Canada is now doing as poorly as the US was in October – but also a broader loss of trust in the US because of the perception of the Trump administration as something too close to a failed state in a neighbor too large and too close.

      3. Maritimer

        “Non-essential travel between our two countries remains restricted…”

        Which means that “essential” travel is not restricted. Someone must decide who travels. So is there a Ministry of Essential Travel? Where do I apply? What are the criteria? Can I see the list of who is travelling and why? MSM and alternative media totally dead when examining these stories, just accepts them at face value.

        It is a Two Tier Pandemic, folks. Tier 1 keeps on keeping on and Tier 2 takes it in the arm.
        Woe Canada!

    2. Kevin C. Smith

      The US-Canada travel ban is/was a joint agreement started in about April, which happens to be renewed on the 21st of every month. I don’t know if the US renewed their side of it this month, but for sure Canada did. Probably remain in place until the carnage and craziness in the US has slowed down; maybe April at the earliest, could be as far out as a year from now.

      1. BlueMoose

        The part that caught my eye was: for non-essential travel. Who gets to define what is essential travel? Is flying in on your private jet to so some filming in Toronto essential? What if some rich investor wants to stay at his vacation property in Vancouver?

        1. Carolinian

          Perhaps all those Canadian snowbirds in Phoenix will plead that it was essential to get away from the cold. My Mesa friend tells me that snowbird activity is down this year.

          Meanwhile our Canadian friends won’t need to head to Myrtle Beach, SC until May at the earliest.

          1. Wukchumni

            I remember Canuck compounds down under down under in Mexico, conclaves of condos where they linger in Puerto Vallarta and other haunts.

            If anything i’d expect there to be more going there now, not that Mexico is a bowl of cherries from a Covid standpoint, but at least its served warm.

          2. edmondo

            Here in Southern Arizona I was amazed at the number of Canadians here this year. I knew the border was closed (yeah, yeah, non-essential travel yada yada) so no one was expecting them. Apparently the border is only closed to essential travel if you drive across the border. All the Canadian snowbirds who arrived here did so by airplane. The border is wide open if you fly. If Justin called a snap election, his first stop to campaign ought to be here in the 48th state.

            I’m not sure who makes the rules but they don’t make any sense.

          3. The Historian

            I have a friend, an American, who is a ‘snowbird’ and usually winters in Arizona or California, and then summers in Canada. This year, he was told he could leave Canada and go back to the US, but that he would not be able to return to Canada. He decided to stay in Canada.

            1. Winston Smith

              Interesting. The situation is somewhat better in Canada generally but that depends where you are. I would venture the guess that your friend is in BC? I have toyed with the idea of going back but it is too complicated at this point…I am originally from a remote county where the total case count for the last 6 month is 24. Unfortunately, we sold my father’s house last week

        2. bojackhorsemeat

          I know three Canadians that have been back and forth across the border, and none of it was close to essential travel. And big surprise, these are the people I would have the least faith in following quarantine rules…

          1. Jessica

            Canada has closed its border with the US to all non-essential travel.
            The US has closed its land border with Canada to all non-essential travel, but Canadians can fly in freely.
            Practically speaking, this means that Canadians can’t pop over the border from BC for (much) cheaper gasoline, that kind of thing, but they can fly to Florida or Arizona.
            I suspect that the US rules are designed to allow the Trump administration to pretend that the border closure is mutual, when in fact it is the US that is under quarantine.
            This is a milder version of how sensible restrictions on air travel were blocked and those calling for them denounced as racists in the very early days of the pandemic (January-February) when restrictions on air travel would have meant quarantining China.

            1. RMO

              Here I though I was the only one who remembers seeing multiple accusations of racism/xenophobia thrown at anyone concerned about Covid back in the first couple of months of 2020!

        3. Eduardo

          The United States will temporarily limit inbound land border crossings from Canada and Mexico to “essential travel”.

          This action does not prevent U.S. citizens from returning home.

          The following categories do not fall within the definition of “essential travel:” Individuals traveling for tourism purposes, such as sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events in the United States.
          US Embassy Travel Restrictions – Fact Sheet

          1. edmondo

            Hey, it’s the Trump Administration. I’m surprised that they didn’t limit inbound land border crossings from Europe and Asia too. America’s ignorance of geography has always surprised and saddened me.

      2. Betty

        I was surprised when I put in an online order for face masks and one face shield the store would not process it. After doing a fair amount of research, I thought the products met the most standards. Not sure if it was my credit card or perhaps inventory, I called, and it turned out that my address was in the US and this was a Canadian company. They didn’t sell to the US. (I forgot how it was phrased, but it was simultaneously very succinct and oblique.) Live customer support! But, very frustrating.

        1. Jessica

          Cross-border shipping has been extremely delayed. A friend sent a letter from the US to Canada and it took 6 weeks to arrive.
          So they may not have a choice in the matter.

        2. HotFlash

          Sometimes it is a sales territory problem. A US product that I dearly want cannot be shipped here b/c the special batteries (which are included) have a Canadian distributor. I am hoping to get them to ship it without batteries and get the Cdn distributor to send me the batts separately.

  3. Anonymous

    Cute is too mild a word; that critter (some kind of raccoon?) and the guy(gal?) feeding him makes my day.

    Lovely is a better description.

          1. Anonymous

            Thanks! I was dismayed to hear it called a bear but that wiki article clears says but it is not a bear (Ursidae).

            I’ve fed raccoons quite a few times and the behavior of that Red Panda is clearly racoonish.

            Guarding the grapes.

            1. John Anthony La Pietra

              OTOH, the Japanese word for raccoon is araiguma, which translates directly as “washing bear”.

              (OTTH, a tanuki is a “raccoon-dog” figure of myth/legend/folklore/etc.)

          2. BobW

            Raccoons are the bane of homeless campers. They can chew their way into a tent and make off with any food they discover. Canny campers never put food inside a tent, especially any foods that exude an odor.

            I know one person who woke up shouting “Oh My God! Oh My God!” and struggling at his tent’s zipper.

            A skunk had invited itself into his tent. Fortunately, it did not feel threatened by all the activity, and calmly began eating Doritos.

        1. pasha

          also known as the “firefox,” which is why the red panda was adopted as the icon of the eponymous browser

  4. Wukchumni

    Can’t believe the Gulag Hockeypelago is not allowing essential outsiders in during the annual ‘winter games’ stanza going from late August until early August. I guess taking all those Zamboni lessons on my own Dime was loonie in retrospect, and I had a great plan in that we were going to recycle said ice chips into delicious frappuccinos, but no.

    1. ambrit

      There you go again with your puckish sense of humour.
      Oh, and considering how far out you live, shouldn’t that be Zamboonie lessons?

      1. Wukchumni

        In what can only be described as a fit of pique, i’m going forward with my online poutine presence, the idea being that i’m offering free delivery north of the border, and to sweeten my generosity, i’m offering a 2 for 1 deal where you get a couple of delivery people (my wife & I) in order to expedite things.

        1. Wukchumni


          Not that I want to make it seem as if i’m playing the field, but i’ve hit up a good friend in Auckland i’ve known for close to 40 years, to put in adoption papers to get me grand, er fathered into en zed.

          1. ambrit

            But, but, then you’ll have to change your “handle” to Maori.
            Though, I must admit that En Zed is a much more defensible position.

  5. Kevin C. Smith

    That video of Angela Merkel was GREAT.
    If she won’t run for Chancellor again they should consider drafting her …

    1. edmondo

      Maybe I can be more kind when she apologizes for her 12 years of neoliberalism. When does that arrive?

        1. Rodeo Clownfish

          I believe Germany, under Merkel, has consistently run budget deficits while using their power in the EU to oppose other countries doing likewise. Also, a prime reason why Greece could get no debt relief, and has suffered mightily under its debt, was because the banks that would have taken the haircut were German. Perhaps there are better examples than these…

          1. JEHR

            Merkel does not run the EU but the EU has a real problem with using its fiscal powers to help countries in the EU that need that kind of help. The European Troika was mainly responsible for what happened to Greece.

        2. edmondo

          I just googled “Merkel and neoliberalism” and got 1.7 million hits. That doesn’t count any of the Greek pensioners who now live in whatever the greek name for a favella is.

        3. Acacia

          From 2013, Journalist Stephan Hebel: “Ms. Merkel is following a very clear political agenda behind the play ‘I am for everyone’, which is socially unjust and essentially neoliberal, free-market, economically more or less, not because she is a conspirator or whatever — and I am therefore not angry, but more astonished — but because, in my opinion, she acts in the deep belief that what serves the economy also serves the country.”Merkels Agenda ist „neoliberal, marktliberal, wirtschaftshörig“

      1. Edward

        That’s how I feel. Nobody wants to be in the Covid doghouse with the Americans, but she is somewhat like Germany’s Biden, perhaps without the same propensity for lying and less militarism. She had a role in creating the Greek and Ukraine disasters, supported the Syrian Jihadists, and has done a terrible job dealing with the EU’s economic and structural problems. I was under the impression, when she became Chancellor, that she would take turns in that office with Schroeder, but Schroeder never returned. This must suite Washington, since Schroeder was a thorn in their side, while Merkel mostly follows the U.S. lead, at least until Trump showed up.

        1. Person

          > Merkel mostly follows the U.S. lead, at least until Trump showed up.

          I think the turning point might have been earlier, when she found out that Obama bugged her phone. As an citizen of the former GDR that must have stung.

          The Nord Stream 2 deal was signed in 2015.

          1. Edward

            Or maybe it was George Bush’s “backrub diplomacy”. The Germans seem reluctant to change the status quo. They must be asking themselves, privately, how much they will put up with from the Americans before they seek an independent status. I agree there were some signs and moves of a schism before Trump, but after he was elected it became more overt.

            1. Person

              True. In general it doesn’t make sense to ascribe a German reaction to any particular leader. Almost all major areas of disagreement are just natural continuations of former policies. Our interests have been steadily diverging from Germany’s since the fall of the USSR. It seems to me that Germany understands that Russia is mostly a paper tiger, Russian gas is cheaper and more readily available than US LNG, and China is becoming a bigger trade partner, so US-German relations may not be as important as they were in the Soviet era. Since the EU is a unified trade bloc and France is still an important partner in Africa, we aren’t going to be able to put any serious pressure on Germany through trade policy. So they seem to be in a strong position diplomatically. (Good for them, as they have many other problems to solve.)

    2. drexciya

      Why do people fall for this cheap theater? Angela Merkel isn’t a great leader at all. Her typical modus operandi has been to just do nothing, or put in the least amount of effort, and hope everything turns out well. She has completely failed on immigration, the economy has been stagnant for some time as well. Her authoritarian measures are not really helping either. Lockdowns DON’T work, that has been proven during the first wave. What would help is vitamin D, and proper first line care (MATH+). This is being done in third-world countries, but not in Western countries, why?

      And we haven’t covered the dubious PCR tests yet, which go up and up, while hospitalizations don’t keep up at all. Hmm, something’s fishy going on here. In The Netherlands we’re likely getting another lockdown as well, while the hospitalizations aren’t a big worry, but those “case numbers” are going up.

      And when you talk about people who should abide to the rules, there’s a certain group in Germany that doesn’t follow the rules at all, but you are not allowed to say anything about them. Rules for thee not for me. So we use police to beat down “querdenker”, and let the actual culprits walk off.

    3. Alternate Delegate

      Merkel can be justly blamed for the neoliberal dirt done to Greece, though she used her Finance Minister to stay at arms length herself.

      I have to give her some amount of credit for “das schaffen wir” (“we can do this”), directly facing the wave of refugees from Syria, many of whom did in fact find refuge in Germany, although the longer-term fix was to cut a deal with Erdogan to keep the slower half of the wave bottled up in Turkey.

      The SPD has been committing slow motion political seppuku by persisting in its “grand coalition” with Merkel’s CDU. A “party of labor” has nothing to do in coalition with conservatives, and so, like Snark hunters who have encountered a Boojum, they are softly and silently vanishing away.

    1. Pat

      When Andy took over the state office from Spitzer the first thing he did was shut down every investigation into Wall Street, any ongoing case was quietly “settled”. The people doing this were either moved to trivial concerns or let go.

      While Wall Street will probably be fine with him, (Pharma, too), it might not appeal to him. Not only will Harris will attempt an succeed in neutering any grandstanding on his part, he is smart enough to recognize that this administration is headed for an epic fail. Joining it could derail President Andy plan C (plans A & B having already failed).

      But he would be a good choice for the cabinet from hell.

      1. Marilyn

        Right up there with Obama’s Eric “Place” Holder and
        Kamala Harris, recipient of mortgage banker Mnuchin’s tip for services, to fund a senate field trip to D.C., plus all the other blindfolders of justice.

      1. edmondo

        It would be hilarious if McConnell refused to move ahead with the Garland nomination for Attorney General. I miss irony.

    2. Arizona Slim

      OTOH, look on the bright side. It could open the door for people like Zephyr Teachout or, what the heck, Andrew Yang.

      1. edmondo

        LOL. Andrew Yang – the Asian Pete Buttegieg

        Did you ever see one of those giant waving guys. They stick a fan under him, turn it on and you have a 12 foot tower of crazy actions that make no sense. Andrew Yang. After DeBlasio, Covid and Trump, New Yorkers don’t deserve this

        1. chris

          Why the animus against Yang? Unlike Buttigieg he’s actually accomplished things in his life and has some unique perspectives that I would have liked to have seen represented among our political class. He has a special needs child for instance. Having someone who can speak to the difficulties of being a parent in today’s society with a child who has special needs could have been important. Buttigieg is a old rich man’s conception of what young people think a politician should be like. He’s more manufactured and managed than a boy band. And he actively sought that kind of life. I find him incredibly hard to listen to or watch. The sooner he lives the public life the better.

          1. The Rev Kev

            They certainly dropped him down the memory-hole while he was campaigning. One time, one of the big media companies – MSNBC – had a large photograph for all the main Democratic contenders but for Yang, it was an image of some random Asian guy.

            Then again, the image for Tulsi Gabbard was some random blonde woman too. MSNBC claimed that it was all a mistake but somebody pointed out once that it is amazing that the mistakes always go only one way-


      2. Pat

        I wish. But much as I blame Cuomo for a lot of the state’s Democratic Party misdeeds, they are an entrenched bunch. Hell the Brooklyn portion just got nailed by a judge for trying to stack the County Committee. Ostensibly to allow more gender non binary people to run, what it really was the Executive Committee not liking an open election among members.

        It wasn’t just Cuomo pulling strings to get Maloney to run against Teachout in the AG primary. They knew she would beat James because she had enough support in the Metro area coupled with overwhelming support upstate. Maloney was there just to cut into numbers upstate, he was never going to give up Congress for AG.

        They do not want her anywhere near a position where she can reform the grift train. Yang is more of a wild card but he might have too many scruples for them as well, remember it was his lawsuit that forced them to have a primary.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The Rotating Villain Strategy requires people who can be the villains. The loss of Cuomo means a villain has to step up, and that could be an issue.

          Its entirely different for “hands to be tied” than to say, I just want to cut taxes and do it on the back of public schools.”

    3. Geo

      Next: Lori Loughlin for Secretary of Education?

      It’s not enough to be merely mediocre. Biden only wants people who have been absolute criminal failures!

  6. zagonostra

    The YouTube Ban Is Un-American, Wrong, and Will Backfire – Matt Taibbi

    In sum, it’s okay to stoke public paranoia, encourage voters to protest legal election results, spread conspiracy theories about stolen elections, refuse to endorse legal election tallies, and even to file lawsuits challenging the validity of presidential results, so long as all of this activity is sanctified by officials in the right party, or by intelligence vets, or by friendlies at CNN, NBC, the New York Times, etc.

    Isn’t that the way U.S. foreign policy works? We are all for democratic forms of gov’t in other countries as long as the policies fit with “American Interest.” The U.S. is ok with dictators as long as they are our dictators. It’s the “sanctification” that is key. There are key players, the ruling elites and well connected and then there is the 99%ers. The wants, wishes, and aspiration of the latter are only a source and subject of sustained attention by the “friendlies” to the extent that it doesn’t disrupt the allocation of resources and power.

    Same as it ever was, same as it ever was
    Same as it ever was, same as it ever was
    Same as it ever was, same as it ever was
    Same as it ever was, same as it ever was

    Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
    Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
    Into the blue again after the money’s gone
    Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

    (Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime)

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Reminds me of Obama spewing about “free and fair” elections in Egypt, they didn’t use Hugo/George’s Dial-A-Democracy voting machines so Oops, the people picked The Muslim Brotherhood. Sorry, wrong answer, so the Valkyries of Virtuous Vengeance (Hilary, Rice, Powers, Flournoy) swooped in and re-installed the military with Lurch Kerry providing air cover.

      Now that the red, white, and blue color revolution is almost complete with none of those silly “evidentiary hearings” on the merits required, we’ll need to come up with a replacement for terms like “citizen” and “voter”. Suggest the Latin terms servus or captivus

      1. Phillip Cross

        You have to take your hat off to him… Hugo Chavez swinging the elections to Biden, 7 years after his own death, is some Grade A rascal antics!

        All under the watchful eye of the incredibly competent Trump administration too! If they had thought to start the Undead Force, instead of the Space Force, they might have foiled the plot!

        1. Zagonostra

          The ‘Undead Force’ this is a new metaphysical concept I’ll have to have my brain chew on for a while,if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphors. How does it relate to ‘unexamined life?’ The one most people are living unfortunately?

          1. Phillip Cross

            Our resident absurdist comedian posted this, “they didn’t use Hugo/George’s Dial-A-Democracy voting machines”. “Hugo” is referring to the deceased Señor Chavez, because Trump’s legal team claim he hacked the election.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Q1: Was the software used in 27 states created under contract with Hugo Chavez?
              A: Y

              Q2: Does this software enable tallies to be changed remotely?

              A: Y

              Q3: Does this software store tallies as 3-digit “scores” including (for unknown reasons) one figure to the right of the decimal place?

              A: Y

              Q4: Has any court held an evidentiary hearing related to these facts or to the thousands of affidavits sworn under penalty of perjury regarding fraud?

              A: N

              Q5: On which side of The Firewall do fabulists reside?

              1. Phillip Cross

                Dear old chap. Just posting a capital Y after a load of cobblers doesn’t make it true.

                I know you’re just pulling our legs now!

                Come on, own up!

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Unsold U.S. Hotel Rooms Near 1 Billion as Lodging Crisis Deepens”

    So on one hand we have all those hotel rooms going empty as travel has mostly ground to a halt. And on the other hand, we have nearly 20 million Americans about to be turfed out of their homes on December 31st – right in the middle of winter. And then we have the Federal government which is able to pull $5 trillion out of their wazoo to give to the top billionaires in the country. I know that there could be a connection between these three factoids but at the moment it escapes me-

    1. ambrit

      Here’s an idea. Use the ‘eviction’ crisis to do a General Sit Down Strike. Make the deputies physically remove all 12 million tenants. That should take a few days, and, more importantly for the cash strapped local authorities, result in a lot of overtime pay being disbursed. What are the authorities going to do, put everyone in jail? All 12 million? I don’t think that there are that many FEMA camps available.
      Go long non-cooperation.

      1. Micah

        Here’s a better idea that apply to far more people, including non- renters and would get results far greater than affected landlords; A refusal to pay credit card bills or to file taxes strike starting on February 1st, Biden’s first month in office.

        The people that really matter™ so affected would force his administration’s hand. If he didn’t do anything real to help the American people, then the strike could continue on into the summer.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        But with the hermetic seal around Forbidden Knowledge almost complete how would the servi even know that a General Sit Down Strike was occurring? I’m already like a wild-eyed revolutionary trading underground pamphlets just trying to figure out how a man with no apparent supporters, no campaigning, and no door-to-door canvassing, with his entire family under criminal, extortion, and counterespionage investigations, is headed to The Oval Office.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          LOL no “angels on heads of pins” ripostes with zero mention of the substance on this post from Mssr. Cross. Hard to argue the obvious I guess

        2. Aumua

          Because he’s not Trump. It’s not a good reason perhaps, but it is the reason Biden won, ostensibly. It isn’t that hard to understand.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i’ve bathed in many a creek, river, pond , lake and ocean in my time, from el paso to kansas to throughout the Deep South.
        this was post-big wreck, and i was shaky on my feet.
        so i took precautions…even though we were mostly drunk/tripping for all those years.
        even just a rope tied to a bank side tree.
        if it was cold, build a fire, first.(or cornstarch if it’s really cold)
        “Fear death by water…”. and all.( or: )
        i feel for the guy…but i expect many more stories like this, due to the forthcoming and remarkable influx of newbies to the “lifestyle”.

        perhaps, like those “how to live in prison” classes for convicted financial shenanigan artists, a youtube channel with tips from experienced road warriors is in order.

    2. Wukchumni

      So on one hand we have all those hotel rooms going empty as travel has mostly ground to a halt. And on the other hand, we have nearly 20 million Americans about to be turfed out of their homes on December 31st – right in the middle of winter. And then we have the Federal government which is able to pull $5 trillion out of their wazoo to give to the top billionaires in the country. I know that there could be a connection between these three factoids but at the moment it escapes me-

      I’ll be home for Christmas
      You can plan on me
      Please have snow and mistletoe
      And presents by the tree

      Christmas eve will find me
      Where the love light gleams
      I’ll be home for Christmas
      It’s my only scheme

      I’ll be home for Christmas
      You can plan on me
      Please have some snow and mistletoe
      And presents by the tree

      New Years eve will find me
      Where the Motel 6 light gleams
      I’ll be home after New Years
      If only in my dreams
      I’ll be home after New Years
      If only in my dreams

    3. Alex

      The Rev Kev, here’s your plan in action. It can obviously be done better than this from the National Repository of Bad Politicosocial Ideas.

      “One recent morning a disheveled, visibly disturbed man ran frantically around the lobby of San Francisco’s Mark Hopkins hotel, the historic and elegant property located at the crest of tony Nob Hill. / San Francisco is surreptitiously placing homeless people in luxury hotels by designating them as emergency front-line workers./ The Department of Emergency Management has attempted to spin the secrecy by claiming, “Disclosure of the names of hotels where people are being sheltered could jeopardize the privacy and safety of the vulnerable people whom the City has placed there if the public and the press become aware of the circumstances of their placement and could increase the risk that they will be subject to discrimination or harassment on the basis of their health status or status as an unsheltered person.”

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        “…a disheveled, visibly disturbed man ran frantically around the lobby…”

        part of that elusive thing known as “public health” is having some benign process with which to help people having mental issues…homeless, or not.
        we have armed thugs and jail.
        “homeless” is not a synonym for “disheveled” and “visibly disturbed”…nor is “disheveled”, or even “visibly disturbed” necessarily indicative of mental problems.(i’m pretty disheveled on a given day…and there’s lots of arm waving when i hold forth. and even calmly asserting one’s right to not assent to a search is seen as “psychosis”, more often than not, ime)
        and remember how so many “mentally challenged” people ended up in the wild in the first place(not that pre-reagan nuthouses were anything to brag about).
        in other words, get that guy help…but his presence doesn’t diminish the validity of using all those empty rooms for the good of the people.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Those twenty million people that I mentioned are not long-term homeless but ordinary, everyday people, many of who have partners and children. I think that the US is unique in advanced countries to shut down large parts of the economy in response to the pandemic and then to tell those workers ‘You’re on your own.’ Those people had their jobs shut down so that they could not make rent anymore and they did not get so much as a pair of bootstraps. As Jimmy Dore says, it is socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for everybody else.

        1. Jeff

          The people mentioned in that Frisco article are migrating chronic drug addicts, alcoholics, mentally ill, gay youth runaways and others who wouldn’t garner much sympathy from people who played by the rules and got the economic shaft.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            The source is Capitol Review, a right wing CA rag. And no evidence it did actual research. This is just repeating the objections of locals who don’t like shabby people in the ‘hood bringing down property values.

        2. Aumua

          Well I’m sure we’re all huge fans of Jimmy Dore, but I’m also pretty sure that phrase goes back a long time before he ever used it.

    4. Edward

      Why doesn’t the government hire these unemployed people as contact tracers or for similar duties? Then they would have a salary to pay their rent.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        More importantly, if the government can do this during a pandemic and America’s temporary weakness doesn’t result in our “enemies” attacking us all at once, people might start to question why an F-35 costs so much.

        1. Edward

          Its interesting what suddenly becomes possible during this pandemic. We have also seen that yes, the U.S. can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions if it really wants to.

  8. Wukchumni

    Severe Wildfires Are Devastating the California Condor Wired

    Not mentioned in the article is our recent Castle Fire which did quite a number on California Condors habitat on Moses Mountain, Dennison Ridge and Blue Ridge, traditional roosting areas for the large birds.

    When Sequoia NP was closed from March until June, an NPS employee took a walk up to Moro Rock in late May, which is atypically festooned with humans walking up and down all day long, but we were all AWOL, so said employee saw a number of California Condors cavorting on what must’ve been a long time haunt for them historically-but the first time they’d been seen in Sequoia NP in 50 years, as when on the top of Moro Rock you have a commanding view of goings on below in a 360 degree panorama

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Tasmanian devils claw their way back from extinction”

    ‘Along with two other recent studies, the findings hint that changes in behavior—and possibly the emergence of less virulent tumor cells—may be taming the cancer’s spread.’

    Isn’t that the way that it goes with pathogens? That over time that they evolve to a less lethal form or else they will be so successful in killing their host, that they wipe themselves out too? I seem to recall some common diseases that nowadays are inconveniences but were once quite lethal when they first appeared.

    1. JBird4049

      Yes, diseases tend to evolve to become less nasty, but it takes time.

      Many African animals have their own innocuous version of HIV, but they probably got it thousands of years ago. We humans got it just over a century ago. The Tasmanian devils could have easily been exterminated before the cells became less nasty.

      Also less lethal is relative. Look at Smallpox with its two strains of variola major and variola minor. The first has a fatality of rate of IIRC 20-30 percent and the second “only” 10 percent. Or syphilis. The original 16th century form not only was invariably fatal, usually within a year, and the physical symptoms were horrifying. Today, you might survive it, and the physical symptoms are usually mild, but insanity and then death after a few decades is common.

      Also, a disease can evolve to become more lethal like the 1918 Flu and often cholera. It depends on what mutations randomly appear. It’s one of the reason that people arguing for “herd immunity” make me angry. Our current pandemic could develop strains that are more or less lethal or infectious.

  10. Amfortas the hippie

    well looky here…two “new states” filed amicus briefs with Scotus in the idiotic ken paxton lawsuit:

    at the very least, they appear aware of the “How” laid out in the Constitution:

    in principal…and in spite of the confederacy and such…i’m all for secession.
    always have been, as it follows from the justifications used to form the country in the first place…and Jefferson would approve.
    Withdrawal of Consent is important.

    that said, what a strange time we live in.

    1. Tom Stone

      I wear my “State of Jefferson” baseball cap in some locales..
      It made a difference when I ran into the Lake County Militia 10 miles in on a dirt road.
      It is only a matter of time, the PPE federations show the natural power blocs.

      1. Geo

        Texas succeeding would be interesting to watch go down. Are they familiar with what the US does to small oil producing nations getting uppity and asserting their sovereignty?

    1. Wukchumni

      I like the idea, and in lieu of a dead President slid under a garter of one of the pretties in the flock between pews, can she at least have the decency to use a collection plate instead?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      is there an internet “law” that shows a correlation between the quality of the author and the quality of the trolls he or she attracts?
      Matt has some good ones that follow him around.
      much more entertaining that what you find on Disqus comments pages these days.

      as for Matt’s take, this has been a long time coming. after 9-11, i think, really showed the PTB how dangerous free speech and relatively open internet could be.
      and they thought the Sixties were bad(too much freedom and security, and too much education and information sharing, and rampant creativity, especially in music).
      at some point, i’m gonna feel the need to go dark, for whatever that’s still worth.

      1. ambrit

        Don’t bother. Those “lists” were made years ago, at the least during the “Crushing of Occupy” period.

        1. anon y'mouse

          we all have a file.

          if you try to move to Canadia (deliberate misspelling), they ask you for an official copy of it.

          due to my upbringing of biker adjacent, drugdealing weirdos in the family, i am sure that my name appears in a number of them aside my own.

    2. sam

      And today’s NYT has a piece by Sorkin advocating mandatory COVID vaccination for all employees, presumably backed up by penalties “up to and including termination” as corporate rules of conduct like to say. Does anyone else see a pattern of evading constitutional restrictions on government action by recruiting private sector actors to do the dirty work?

      1. JWP

        Yes. Censorship via facebook and twitter fit into that category too. War on cash by promoting digital payment platforms as well. I’d imagine its a sort of privatization of our rights outside of religion and guns.

      2. JBird4049

        The Feds have been using the private sector for decades to avoid constitutional restrictions. That states and municipalities are doing likewise is normal.

  11. jr

    Interesting reads from

    Yep, economic decline polarizes people and makes it much harder to de-polarize them when things improve.


    “three stages we see in Terrell Northrup’s theory of intractable conflict”:

    1. perceived threat: “They are coming for our children!”

    2. distortion: “I don’t care that that there is contraindicating information, they are coming for our children!”

    3. rigidification: “I’ll never believe they aren’t coming for our children!”

    all lead to:

    4. dehumanization “They eat children!”

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Biden’s Pentagon Pick: a Five-Sided Blunder”

    Must admit that I have changed my mind here as Austin may not be so bad. Yes, he is a corporatist but he apparently knows how to follow orders and not do stupid stuff. The alternate is Michele Flournoy who will do what she wants no matter the consequences and ignore directives. As an example of how this can play out, back in 2016 Obama and Putin made a cease-fire agreement in Syria which would have led to more coordination between them against ISIS.

    Somebody in the Pentagon and/or Washington decided they did not like this so five days later a Coalition air raid was launched outside ISIS-besieged Deir Ez Zor designed to help the city fall to ISIS but furious Russian & Syrian attacks managed to secure the city instead. The Russians were furious and accused the US of aiding ISIS in the UN and after that they were finished negotiating with the US. My point here is that an Austin would probably not do something like this attack but I can very easily see Flourney doing something like it.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      Biden would be lousy at poker. His tell? The volume of his voice and the level of disdain and aggression in it rise in direct proportion to how badly someone has just nailed him on a substantive matter.

      1. Wukchumni

        The only time Joe really got animated during the first Presidential debate was him perking up upon once again bringing up generalissimo Beau, his answer to Rudy going to the 9/11 card. …tearjerkers

        Videos of people out in the streets celebrating his win will have a lot to answer for in the future when they find out they can’t return defective goods.

          1. RMO

            “I mean what I say when I say it!” When he says it. And maybe not even then…

            Love the fact he is now claiming to have been endorsed by the NAACP every time he’s run.

            “Remember Jerry: It’s not a lie if you believe it.”

  13. Wukchumni

    Reuters: US and Morocco Negotiating Advanced Drone Sale Antiwar.
    Morocco is late to the game as far as i’m concerned and now it can be told of the aerial drone armada above me 24/7/52/365/60/60 patrolling the all cats & no cattle ranch, each armed with fire & forget eat seeking missiles such as Tootsie Rolls & Smarties, not to leave out Necco Wafers.

  14. curlydan

    Why are there so many prime age, non-working men in our country? According to this BLS study, it appears that our “exceptionalism” with regard to our terrible health care system and our carceral state are to blame:

    “Two main (supply-side) reasons for nonwork are…: First, 40.9 percent of nonworkers respond that health issues limit their ability to work. …The second reason for nonwork relates to incarceration, as 20.6 percent of nonworkers report that they had been incarcerated in the year prior to the 2015–16 interview and 36.2 percent say they have been incarcerated at some point in their lives. Having a criminal record can be a barrier to employment.”

    1. Tim

      And highly paid and benefitted public service jobs are reserved for women first, then minority men through affirmative action?

      1. Aumua

        You could say that more good jobs are going to women and minorities now than before, when few to none of them were.

        It’s interesting that the article makes no distinction about the race of the non-working men, where to you it’s the central issue.

    1. rowlf

      Two months ago I spot one of my sons’ orange tabbies striding purposefully and expediently across the living room. Sensing that wasn’t his regular walk I quickly caught up to the one year old cat to see the back legs and tail of a little brown skink hanging out of his mouth. The cat went under the dining room table as I was reaching for him and he dropped the still intact and alive skink so he could play with it. I grabbed the cat (who was pretty pissed at me) and locked him in a bedroom, then tried my best to find the skink so I could get it safely outside. I can state they are fast and the tail is detachable. I never caught the skink but it was headed near a door to the outside that had gaps his size.

      The cat patrolled the house for about two hours making sure the skink wasn’t around after I let the cat out of the bedroom.

      1. polecat

        Well, things could’a been worse .. If that was an Alligator Lizard, he would’ve had quite the mouthful .. the lizard, I mean! Had to ‘detatch’ one from one of my knuckles once years ago – with a pair of pliers – still have the scar. They like to ‘bite and twist, and hang on’… just like their namesake.

  15. Lemmy Caution

    Wondering about the Phase III trial results from Moderna and Pfizer.

    In the Moderna trial, 95 out of 30,000 participants were infected with Covid during the trial…or about .3% of the total participants. Only 5 that had been vaccinated were infected, which is good.

    In the Pfizer trial, 170 out of 43,000 participants were infected with Covid during the trial…or about .4%. Similarly, most of the infected were in the placebo group, which is good.

    But in the U.S., about 16,200,000 total cases are reported, or about 5% of the population of 328,000,000.

    I don’t get why the infection rates are so dramatically different in the test groups.

    Going by the national infection rate of 5%, the number of infected in the test groups should have been 10-15 times higher than they were. Is there something about the makeup, behavior or demographics of the test groups that are throwing off the results and if so, isn’t that a big deal?

    1. Eduardo

      The trials started much later than covid started in the US. So, less time to get infected versus the country as a whole. Maybe there is more to it, but that would explain at least some of your observation.

      1. Samuel Conner

        The end point of the reported study period (which presumable is not very recent) also matters a lot, since there has been recent rapid acceleration in the number of new infections. Cumulative cases have roughly doubled in the last 8 weeks.

        I also suspect that trial participants in both arms of the study would tend to take the virus more seriously than US population at large — skeptics of the reality or severity of the pandemic would have little incentive to volunteer to participate — and more scrupulously observe the public health advisories.

      2. Lemmy Caution

        Right. The national infection rate of 5% is cumulative over 10 months or so. So I looked at the number of new cases in the U. S. yesterday– 260,000 to nearly 300,000, depending on the source. That means a daily new infection rate of about .075% out of a total U.S. population of 328,000,000.
        So with a trial group of 43,000, you might not be surprised to find .075%, or about 22, of them test positive on day one. After 30 days, the number could reasonably rise to 660. After 60 days, it could be 1,320. After 90 days, almost 2,000 infections would be consistent with the national infection rate. Yet the Pfizer trial reports just 120 infections. To be fair, I don’t recall how long the trial was, but it must be at least 2 months.
        I’m sure I am missing some crucial part of all these test results; my college stats class is further in the past than I care to admit.
        But it seems if your trial group is dramatically, surprisingly (suspiciously) less likely to get covid-19 than the general public to begin with, then the trial results are not reflective of the vaccine’s effectiveness..

        1. Lemmy Caution

          Checked my math and 43,000 x .075% = 32 for an expected daily infection rate among the trial group that matches the national daily infection rate. So after 30 days, you’d expect 960 out of 43,000 infected. Now, if half your group is getting the vaccine, you’d still expect 480 infected in the placebo group after 1 month. In two months, nearly 1,000 iinfected n the placebo group. So there’s still a puzzling divergence in the infection rates between the control group and the general population.

    2. JEHR

      One would have to read the data to find out how the groups were chosen. It would be interesting to know.

    3. TroyIA

      Two points that could lead to a lower infection rate are that Pfizer conducted a global trial involving 150 clinical sites in United States, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina. We would need to see the breakdown of participants in various countries and then average the infection rate across 6 countries.

      The second point is that participants weren’t tested for asymptomatic infection. There may have been many participants who were infected but never knew it.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        Hey thanks. That’s the best breakdown I’ve seen by race and age. Did not know it was multi-country.

        1. anonymous

          You want the FDA event materials for the VRBPAC meeting on the Pfizer vaccine.

          The demographics are in multiple documents. The FDA briefing document ( is one that includes percent of participants by country.

          There is a similar page for the December 17 VRBPAC meeting about the Moderna vaccine. Not much is there yet. With the Pfizer meeting, the FDA and sponsor documents were posted a couple of days before the meeting.

    4. Cuibono

      it is always a big deal. People who enter trials are not always like the general public. WE hope they are in many ways: age, Sex, race, medical history. But what about behavior? maybe those who enter trials are really good at masking for example. Or staying away from crowds?

      Why should this matter? Because to the extent they are different, we cant generalize the trials findings. Maybe when this roles out we will see very different results in the general population.

      But the fact is,the results are the results. What do these numbers tell you about NNT? or ARR?

  16. Adam Eran

    Yves’ comment about how ECONNED nailed contemporary economics as propaganda a while ago also reminded me of Steve Keen’s Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor Dethroned. I’ve been rereading that book and remain staggered by the willingness of conventional economists to accept the flimsiest evidence for their bizarre, counter-factual theories.

    I still remember how Reagan got mercilessly criticized for consulting an astrologer, but the advanced superstition of neoclassical economics puts astrology, bloodletting and the geocentric solar system to shame. And that’s what’s guiding policy now!

    Gosh! I wonder why public policy is in the crapper!

    1. rowlf

      Old Soviet joke:

      In the final years of the Brezhnev period, the majority of high-level government officials were, to put it mildly, extremely experienced. The average age of a Politburo member was 70, which gave rise to jokes such as:

      -What has four legs and forty teeth?
      -An alligator.
      -And forty legs and four teeth?
      -Brezhnev’s Politburo.

  17. antidlc

    McKinney elementary school closes after COVID-19 sidelines one-third of the staff

    McKinney ISD’s Reuben Johnson Elementary School is pivoting to fully virtual instruction in response to rising cases of COVID-19.

    The school made the switch after more than one-third of its teachers and staff tested positive, were presumed positive, or were quarantined due to COVID-19, leaving the school’s overall staff depleted, according to an announcement from the district.

    1. Wukchumni

      The tendrils keep spreading out, a friend has her son enrolled @ boarding school w/ equine therapy for troubled teens in Cameron Tx, and 9 out of 20 boys there just caught Covid, so she tells me, not her son though.

    2. Glen

      A co-worker had the daughter come home from college, now they all have it. Our daughter visited,for Tday, and got a text from work, she was exposed, we are in self isolation, but I think we dodged thee bullet, her test was negative.

      It is going around, we are all more hunkered down than ever in my neck of the woods.

      And yes, very few people get sick and die, but we have had three deaths in extended family and many hospitalizations. This [family blog] sucks and I hope everybody is safe.

    3. Brian Westva

      My daughter’s elementary school just closed for next week due to two classrooms having COVID positive children. The two weeks after next it will be closed for xmas break. Hopefully this will help to slow the spread.

  18. Amfortas the hippie

    adjacent to one of the links:

    “Athens is laid out for cars; in the absence of workers commuting, the city is performing a different role for its residents. “Now you see people just walking around outside in random residential areas that they would never walk in, because there’s nothing there,” Papageorgiou said. “There is an occupation of the public space that’s unrelated to any commercial activity. It’s just purely being out in the city.” He pushes his son’s stroller down the middle of the empty street. There’s a sense of reclamation as residents stay in their own neighborhoods, like newly sequestered villages. “You meet people outside, everyone says hi to each other. It’s very strange,” he said.”

    most of this article is definitely First World Problems,lol…the PMC designing their way out of their bubbles, by building bubbles for everyone…like the idea of office surveillance passed off as ho hum, nothing to see obvious.
    but there’s a lot underneath all that that is interesting…if one has a habit of thinking about how the built environment shapes behaviour.

    “Existence Minimum” is a future buzzword that prolly needs to be watched carefully…like “Nudge”, before it.

    1. fwe'theeweell

      I didn’t understand Existence Minimum. Can you explain or direct me someplace other than “mutually complimentary” [sic or not sic, that is the question] hoohah (only link I found on a quick duck-duck-go).

      1. RMO

        “You meet people outside, everyone says hi to each other. It’s very strange,” he said.”

        Seriously? That’s what it’s been like in my suburban neighborhood outside Vancouver pretty much my whole life… Turns out I’ve been living in the future since the 70s.

  19. Wukchumni

    Day 39 of the ‘I Ran Hostage Crisis’.

    I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, as Trump has exhausted all legal possibilities and the electoral college formally elects Biden on Monday…

    Bah-da bah-da-da-da
    Bah-da bah-da-da-da
    Bah-da bah-da-da-da

    Monday, Monday (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    So bad to me (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    Monday mornin’, it was all I dreaded it would be
    Oh Monday mornin’, Monday mornin’ could be his guarantee (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    That Monday evenin’ my concession speech would be on TV

    Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day
    Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
    Oh Monday mornin’ you gave me no warnin’ of what was to be
    Oh Monday, Monday, how could you make me leave and not retain me

    Every other day, every other day
    Every other day, every other day of the week is fine, yeah
    But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
    But whenever Monday comes, you can find me cryin’ all of the time

    Monday, Monday (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    Can’t trust that day (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    Monday, Monday (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    It just turns out that way (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    Whoa Monday, Monday (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    Won’t go away (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    Monday, Monday (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    I’m here to stay (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    Oh Monday, Monday (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
    Whoa Monday, Monday (bah-da bah-da-da-da)

  20. Wukchumni

    On Wednesday, Visalia’s Kaweah Delta Hospital reported it was operating beyond its capacity, stating it was operating at 105 percent of capacity with patients in the emergency department waiting for beds. On Wednesday Kaweah Delta reported it had 107 COVID-19 patients and 14 COVID-19 patients in ICU. Kaweah Delta reported it had five ICU beds available, but only enough staffing to operate three of those ICU beds.

    I’ve heard from someone that they’ve since gone tilt, and now Covid patients are on beds in the hallways @ Kaweah Delta, apparently the surge is working.

    1. Glen

      This is pretty much what happen to my sister in law in NV. Had a massive lung clot, was given blood thinners, antibiotics and pain killers while on a cot in the ER hallways. Sent home as soon as she could walk to a car, still on all the drugs. She is trying to get to a hospital in ID to see if the blood clot is still there.

      We told her we had heard that that part of ID was flying sick people to WA because ICUs in that part of ID are full. And it is dangerous for her to make the trip.

  21. Dirk77

    I’ve been wondering for four years now why NC heads the section about Trump articles as “Trump Transition”, yet did not use “Transition” in the name of the section of Obama articles in his term nor the section of Biden articles now. Was/is this some subtle commentary?

          1. chris

            And now we have to ask, what has Naked Capitalism done for us!?

            I mean…there’s the valuable economics commentary.

            Right that. But besides that…

            Oh! And journalistic sanitation.

            Right, yes, they do clean out the pipes when they’re clogged from too much slime and propaganda.

            In roads with new ideas too.

            And information to make our own decisions as informed citizens!

            Ok, yes, but besides valuable economics commentary, journalistic sanitation, in roads with new ideas, and supporting an informed citizenry, what has Naked Capitalism done for us?


    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Trump was attempting a hostile takeover of the Republican party, as well as implementing a new governing philosophy, aka Trumpism. The hostility of the establishment to him (the intel state, all the Dems and a big swathe of Rs), his refusal to operate in a normal political manner (some of that out of his continued refusal to understand that a President is not a CEO), which included regular self-underming, meant he was fighting just to exercise his authority of office.

      By contrast, Obama made clear between his choice of Geithner as Treasury secretary and his inaugural address that his “hope and change” slogan was all empty PR. that he was all in with the status quo and would do everything he could to shore it up.

      1. Glen

        Trump is actually an interesting case and hopefully, we get some good studies or something to put this all into perspective.

        What has become increasingly clear to me is that one of the reasons, maybe the predominate reason that Trump is so in control of the Republican base is because HE CALLED OUT THE REPUBLICAN ELITES.

        If there is one common thread among both the Democrats and Republicans, it is that the average person knows the elites are $crewing us, and hate them. So I have hope, we are all starting to focus our ire in the right direction.

  22. Wukchumni

    This was from a few days ago, I didn’t know they had a second restaurant in Hanford. I probably ate @ the one in Visalia dozens of times and good food & service. They had cleared the almost never successfully attempted hurdle of making it as a restaurant, an achievement in it’s own right, and then {poof} gone.

    You get the idea that eateries are the vanguard of those retail businesses going toes up, kinda like 1930-31, but different.

    A Visalia dining institution is permanently shutting its doors after more than 30 years of serving hungry families.

    Ryan’s Place on Mooney Boulevard will not reopen as a result of the financial strain caused by the coronavirus, owner Amy Rose said in a message to customers. The diner had closed shortly after the first stay-at-home order took effect in California in March.

    At the time, Rose said the closure was a temporary measure. But on Friday, she announced that both Ryan’s Place restaurants in Visalia and Hanford were closing for good.

  23. fwe'theewell

    Piggybacking on the Greening of the Earth link, and taking liberties on a Caturday, here’s an update on my lemon tree. I didn’t use the surfactant after youse’s advice, but did go full tiger mom with the fish spray. Burned all the leaves, but now the tree is leafy again.

    Question: anybody know if I can use the surfactant as a dishwasher rinse aid?

    Fanks in advance.

  24. antidlc

    Just an observation about the area in which I live…

    I went for a drive the other day just to see what businesses were still open.

    I noticed quite a few recently opened personal loan offices. They all had different names, so I wonder if they are all independent of one another.

    Anybody else notice this happening in your area?

    1. ambrit

      It is an indicator of systemic stress in the local society. We here Down in the NADS have had a plethora of Title Loan and Payday Loan storefronts for decades. It is a signifier of a high percentage of ‘living paycheck to paycheck’ households in the mix.
      A sign of the downturn here is the shuttering of several of the local Payday Lenders. The locals out on “the Street,” not necessarily those living on the street itself, are opining that this is a sign of terminal rot in the local economy. Even hard scrabble employment is no longer available. Petty crime is definitely up.

  25. Glen

    Just some random thoughts on corporate CV immunity:

    AOC WRECKS Mitch McConnell in Instagram livestream

    I wish my Congresscritter would do something like that livestream – maybe he does, he’s a corp Dem, I would probably go ape$hit watching it, but I did have some thoughts on corporate CV immunity.

    Knowing how corporations work, something like this would be played as the “get out of jail free” card for every corporate accident and death. OSHA would be told to go away – that worker had “sudden onset CV, got dis oriented and fell to his death – the safety rail being broke was just a random thing. We have immunity, go away.”. That airplane pilot must have got CV real quick, sorry about that plane load of passengers, but we have immunity. That powdered milk got contaminated and poisoned a couple thousand people, we traced it back to a worker with CV”. I’m sure they cover how to do this when you get a PMC approved MBA.

    On and on and on. It would be giving Wall St, the corporations and billionaires a real easy way to kill. They already have way too much of this power.

    1. skippy

      It should be pointed out, especially in career politician cases, that they get a public pay check regardless of covid plays out and in many cases earn even more through Wall St bets[?????] …

    2. Tom Doak

      The potential compromise on the topic of corporate immunity, which absolutely no one has mentioned, is to give companies immunity for 2020 but leave them open to lawsuits from today forward.

      That wouldn’t be fair to all the workers who have risked their lives this summer and fall, but at least it would incentivize companies to give them adequate protection from here forward. Whereas, if you grant the blanket immunity that Republicans are demanding, then companies are totally free of doing anything to protect their workers from COVID. Senator Sanders and others are right to hold out against blanket immunity.

      1. Glen

        I heard it was immunity for five years, but things like this have a habit of becoming permanent – like the Bush tax cuts.

        And we may be dealing with a new outbreak of CV every other year or so. (I shudder at the thought.)

    1. Todd

      Thanks for sharing your propaganda about who was whom. Are they protestors or counter protestors? Can’t be both.

      Watched both videos. There is no indication of who was whom. A Proud Boy wearing a black hoodie? That’s not their costume. The victim could be Antifa or a Trumpie. The tall guy, possibly fighting back, hit what looks like a shorter white person, no sex possible to determine. But that’s OK, see and believe what you want.

      p.s. If it were a woman he punched, is that any worse than punching a guy? Sounds like sexism on your part.

      1. skippy

        The attire tells me a lot about some peoples cognitive and psychological dispositions …

        Paramilitary garb always suggests a open mind and civil debate all over the third world … IMO

  26. skippy

    Bloomberg Economics – Everything We’ve Learned About Modern Economic Theory Is Wrong

    Per links of late this highlights the actions by many in defense of the IS-LM and recent opines by Larry and Co. They’ll dabble in heresy on the edges and repent latter when the coast is clear, but this akin to saying the creator never existed in the first place and everything built on that assumption is false.

    Worse being that everything resulting from it would then be their responsibility, when half of the exercise is to hive off that social responsibility in the first place E.g. some people win and some lose whats a body to do – ?????

  27. fresno dan

    Country music legend Charley Pride has died at the age of 86 of complications from COVID-19 in Dallas, his representative announced Saturday.

    Pride was known as a trailblazer for Black artists in the world of country music.

    In the late 1960s to the early 1970s, he was known for hit singles such as “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’,” “Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone,” and “I’d Rather Love You.”
    A big favorite of mine in my youth. Of course, my favorites are never the ones they list, e.g.,
    Kaw Liga
    Crystal Chandeliers
    A Mansion on the Hill
    I don’t have any records or tapes of any music, and OF COURSE not any of the new fangled ways of storing them (or I guess really renting them) but I will go to YouTube and relive some memories…

  28. jr

    I was a culinary instructor for years, around 35G students. Watch out for guys with foo fo hairdos, especially 40+, almost always arrogant jerks. Take Newsom’s hair

    1. rowlf

      I’ve always been wary of people with Executive Hair. I’m pretty sure someone with a $300 haircut has never replaced the wax ring on a toilet.

  29. Dr. John Carpenter

    Maybe someone can help me out here. I just watched a portion of Jimmy Dore’s livestream. It seems his proposal that the progressive caucus withhold their vote for Pelosi for speaker unless they get a vote on M4A is at least provoking a response from AOC and some others who are against it. I’ve been trying to turn this one over and find the downsides and, aside from risking the ire of the mainstream Dems, I’m not sure what it is. Not having the votes, if true, doesn’t even seem as important as getting the names on the nos. That seems to be the only real excuse I’ve heard why the progressives won’t do it and I am not sure I see things that way.

    I’m seeing this like Jimmy does. This seems to me to be a perfect time to use power and dare them to vote it down. And like he’s saying, if not now, when?

    What am I missing? Aside from what it looks like (careerism), where’s the pitfall?

    1. ambrit

      I imagine that the “Progressives” in the Democrat Party do not want to admit that their own Party hates them viscerally. The tell will be the committee assignments the “progressives” get from the Dem leadership. Until they begin to reciprocate, all they will ever get done is a few symbolic virtue signals, and nothing substantive.

    2. nycTerrierist

      you’re not missing anything (careerism)
      if it quacks like a duck…

      Must-see segment by Dore re: AOC —

      I hope they post it later

      v. disappointed in AOC’s stance here –
      she is not walking her talk, at this pivotal moment she is not willing to challenge power, make Pelosi uncomfortable

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        That’s the thing that’s absolutely getting me about this. AOC tweeted earlier this month about pressuring power and making people uncomfortable to achieve progressive goals. This seems like a perfect opportunity to do just that. No dice.

        I’m really trying to be less cynical about “the squad” but this isn’t helping.

        1. nycTerrierist

          Exactly — Dore pulled out that tweet to show AOC’s hypocrisy
          she now gaslights people who expected her to walk her talk

          disappointing, but ‘clarifying’

    3. Glen

      So here is the “conventional” downside. They will put it up for a vote, it will fail, and anytime we try to bring it up after that, they will point to the vote, say it failed, and will fail again.

      Because all we can do after that is vote out the people that voted against it. Which we will do. But then generally you might get a Republican that will be flat out saying – I will never support this. But you also make it clear to the Democrats that they will NEVER get anyone elected that opposes M4A.

      But this game has been played for 20+ years on this type of stuff so it is over, done. We see how it works and what it does. Better to force the vote, see who are real enemies are and go after them.

      Remember, it is the Republicans job to drag the country to the right. It is the Democrats job to stop anything good from happening for normal people. We need to attack the Democrats – THEY STOP GOOD THINGS FROM HAPPENING – THEY ARE THE PROBLEM.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        That’s the only thing I can think of too. I guess I think of the failed vote as something that’s irrelevant really. I mean, how many votes on repealing Obamacare have we seen? I do understand the difference is consensus, that more Repubs want to repeal Obamacare than Dems want to pass M4A.

        But at this point if I’m a member of the squad and serious about this stuff, I’d be in favor of making everyone show their hand on this issue. Honestly, I think that’s the best case scenario as Biden already promised he’d veto a Bill anyway. Of course, I’d still like to see them make him veto it, rather than just folding without a fight.

    4. Procopius

      Krystal Ball had him on a segment of Rising to push his proposal. He’s pretty strident (do I mean shrill?), but he convinces me. The point is to show people that you are trying, that you are pushing, that you are fighting. I agree with Obama that he never had the votes for the public option, but he should have fought for it anyway. Losing a vote is not the same as losing public esteem. I haven’t seen AOC’s response. Guess I’ll need to search for it, but if the Squad really is refusing to do this, I’m done with them.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Yeah, it’s kind of the shrillness that makes me question things. I agree with Jimmy often, but as he describes himself, he’s just a “jag-off comedian broadcasting out of his garage” and he does bluster his way through things. Plus, so many years of “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” has me questioning myself on agreeing.

        This was the bit I saw last night where Jimmy addressed AOC’s response: I think it’s interesting that AOC never actually addresses Jimmy directly, but instead directs the conversation to an NFL player who retweeted him. (Justin Jackson, the player, proves to be very thoughtful and articulate and I say get him a podcast too.) For that matter, she really doesn’t address the issue at all, just talks about how they don’t have the votes and deflects.

  30. chris

    I’m impressed at the Guardian’s attempt at cultural and information gatekeeping here.

    It takes real balls to claim that podcasts are somehow nefarious compared to the misinformation and outright propaganda that’s been spread by the main stream media for the last 20 years. It’s also interesting how they misrepresented what was said on Rogan’s podcast. I suppose it’s good to see how they think criticism of their opponent’s should sound.

    1. Howard Beale IV

      As someone who now suffers from severe hearing loss, the fact that the majority of podcasts don’t provide any captioning is annoying and distressing, which leaves me no other alternative but to use Google’s Live Captioning in order to be able to participate (and Apple has no such facility for their iPhones.)

      When I see people bitch and moan about how smartphones are evil – walk a mile in my shoes, [familyblog]

  31. The Rev Kev

    “Terrifying account of Johnson in Brussels, if true.”

    ‘All our fates in the hands of this calamitous human blunderfuck.’

    I was just reflecting that if a decade ago that some-one wrote a novel called ‘Brexit’ as a work of fiction, that it would fail. Any good novel has to maintain a believability factor and readers would say, ‘Yeah, I can see that happening.’ But ‘Brexit’ the novel would fail. if you read that bit about Boris going on his epic rant in his final hours, you would say that that would never happen in real life. In fact Boris as a novel character would also fail as who after reading about him in a novel would believe in such a character? Never happen you would say. People aren’t like that in real life and certainly not a Prime Minister with the fate of a great nation in his hands.

    Maybe we just live in a world written by a bad fiction author.

  32. Howard Beale IV

    So Trump declares Christmas Eve as a Federal Holiday.

    “Thanks”, says every bank IT shop who have to adjust their calendars in all of their systems for the new holiday, sarcastically.

  33. The Rev Kev

    Gawd. I was just flicking through the news when I came across this one. It seems that some people are suggesting that Jill Biden drop her ‘Dr.’ title in future just because her degree isn’t medical and it “sounds and feels fraudulent”. I’m no fan of her but seriously? I just checked my calendar and it it still says 2020 and not 1920. What garbage publication would publish such a garbage view for the wife of an incoming President? Why, the Wall Street Journal, that’s who-

    1. ambrit

      I’d like to see “Creepy” Joe drop his title. The name Joe Biden with the title President beside it definitely “sounds and feels fraudulent.”
      1920??? That sounds more like an 1820 social ethos.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Was just thinking about your comment when i had idea. I understand that Fantasy football is pretty popular in America but how about – Fantasy government? You get to pick a Cabinet full of people that actually would do a decent job instead of the same, old warmed-over party hacks. I am sure that people like Stephanie Kelton would be in the mix – maybe at Treasury. Put Tulsi Gabbard in Defence as she has an aversion to getting people killed without cause. But you get the idea. Could get pretty popular that.

  34. Tom Doak

    I must admit, I always assumed the future First Lady had some sort of medical degree, instead of a PhD. in education. It doesn’t sound fraudulent but others probably make the same mistake, if it even matters what her degree was.

    According to the article this may make me a misogynist, and if so, please ignore my post, although I think I would have made the same mistake if Joe himself had a Ph.D.

    The NYT piece on the controversy included this beautiful quote:

    Professor Rogers, who has a Ph.D. in history, doesn’t often use the title Dr. herself, she said, but understands why others with the degree would.

    “I’ve certainly encountered a number of doctors in my professional life who are uncomfortable using the honorific term Dr. for anyone who doesn’t have an M.D.,” she said. “But I would call that an old-fashioned view. I don’t say this out loud to any of them, but I think: Which of us studied for longer?”

    We must all stand up for the front row kids / oops / Education.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      A PhD in History is a way more serious degree than a PhD in education. Ed schools are the least academically respected grad schools across the board.

      1. nycTerrierist


        imho its pretentious for non-medical Drs. to use the honorific

        (a tell for the status anxiety of Education ‘scholars’ – often glorified admins)

  35. VietnamVet

    Monday is the decision day; the Electoral College will vote for a continuation of the Joe Biden/Obama Crew, status quo, Administration. In retrospect what doomed Donald Trump wasn’t the Swamp Blob’s incompetent coups but the Presidents failed response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. But the choice of Dr. Anthony Fauci as Joe Biden’s Medical Advisor who was directly in charge of the failed government response to HIV and coronavirus indicates that there will be no restoration of the US Public Health System. The for-profit neoliberal healthcare system that patently can not combat the pandemic has four more years.

    There is no recourse for the living Losers. I can’t think of anything more unstable than a fallen Empire that is unconcerned about the death of a projected half a million citizens even if the for-profit vaccines are effective in midst of the Second Great Depression.

  36. anonymous

    If anyone is still interested in the Iowa caucuses, an audit of the caucuses commissioned by the Iowa Democratic Party was made public. 
    Full report:
    Des Moines Register article:

    A few highlights:
    Because the IDP was concerned that the DNC, having expressed concern over the IDP’s digital security, might veto the reporting app vendor, the IDP halted the Shadow negotiations until issues with the DNC were resolved. The proposal had originally called for 5 months to develop the app, from July to November, with December and January for testing, training and installation. Instead, the contract was not signed until mid-October, and the Apple and Android versions of the app were not rolled out to end users until January 18. The IDP was faulted for the delay. There were over 1700 precincts, but only 624 users logged into the app the night of the caucuses, and only 439 precincts submitted results thorugh the Shadow app.

    At the last minute, the DNC required that a database conversion tool be added to the app to give the DNC access to the results, in order to check the results before they were released to the public. It was the conversion tool, not the app itself, that failed on caucus night and caused the discrepancies that halted the DNC’s release of results.

    The backup call system, which should have been able to handle all of the reporting in case the app failed, only had 40 phones in the call room, with no way to differentiate types of calls. Of 5816 incoming calls, only 1126 were successfully answered, with the rest either not answered or hang ups on hold.

Comments are closed.